How about a snippet from HEART OF DARKNESS?
Bound By Magick: HEART OF DARKNESS by Lauren Dane
Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
“What the hell are you doing out here?” he asked the man standing near the loading dock. “No employee smoking where clientele can see you.”
The icy claws of someone else’s magick dug into him. A dark, oily energy that slithered through him. Poisonous. It drew his energy from his body. The pain of it like a thousand sharp pins.
Not magick, no, this was not natural at all.
The mage made a very big mistake and stepped in closer to take a better look at Dominic where he’d slumped against the door. And when he got close enough, Dominic whipped his fist out and slammed it into the mage’s jaw, sending him backward, reeling down the steps and onto the asphalt below. His magick might have been crippled by the spell, but his fist hadn’t been.
“You stupid motherfucker.” Dominic kicked the mage in the side and then used his magick to hold him in place. “Simon, out back, now,” he barked into his phone.
But even as he heard the thomp, thomp, thomp of Simon’s boots as he ran toward them, Dominic was hit with a big blast of magic so nasty it tore at his insides.
He threw out a shield and the air stank of ozone from his energy sliding against all that wrong, dark sludge. Shoving the nearest mage back with one hand, Dominic punched him in the nose and then gave him another jab in the eye.
As expected, the fool hit the ground, holding his face. The clawing in his guts began to lessen and his head stopped throbbing. His phone buzzed in his back pocket. He knew it was Meriel and he needed to keep her far, far away from this.
A roar sounded over his left shoulder as Simon leapt over the railing from the loading dock ledge and down where Dominic was. The two injured mages managed to pull back and erect their own shields as three human flunkies joined them and rushed Simon and Dominic.
Simon didn’t need to transform to take his wolf form. He was powerful enough as a man and one fist the size of a rump roast slammed into one of the thugs’ belly so hard he lost his footing.
Dominic let the haze take over. Let the violence rush up and through him, to his fists and into his brain. This was like homecoming. This was where he knew the lay of the land. The law of the fists.
He showed his teeth to the human who’d been edging toward him and rushed him, knocking him to his feet as Dominic delivered a beating while straddling the man.
Someone, most likely the remaining human, hit him from the side, knocking him off his prey.
The clawing began again and his head hurt so much he could barely see. The magick rushed up through the ground and tore from his body, draining away.
And then he knew she was coming. He felt her moving toward where they were. Panic warred with admiration as the well of her fury boiled the air and she was there on the landing.
Dominic managed to wrest his body up from the asphalt of the parking lot and to standing again. Just so he could punch the human one more time.
Still on the landing, Meriel looked like an angry goddess, one arm out, her magick swam past him like a guided missile.
Nell ran around where Dominic managed to choke the thug out and onto his knees. He knew just how long to hold, watched as unconsciousness began to take hold.
“Out,” he whispered and then the man went limp.
Shit. He’d just knocked the guy out with his magick?
Dominic saw Meriel moving toward him. Knew he was yelling at her to get the fuck back. He could only hear the drumming of his heart and briefly wondered if he was having a stroke.
She touched him and spoke, her lips against his temple and the pain was gone. The furious pain of those claws in his gut were gone.
“Get out of here. The mages are here,” he heard himself ordering her some moments later.
“No, they’re gone.” She kissed his knuckles, whispered over them and the throb of the abraded skin eased back.
“It’s not safe. The cops—”
“Are so not coming.” Simon heaved himself to stand and then gently helped Meriel up and finally Dominic. “So much magick out here they won’t see or hear a fucking thing. Want to fill me in on what the hell just happened?”
And then Dominic threw up.
Be sure to visit today’s other snippeters!
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth
Today’s prize is a copy of HEART OF DARKNESS! How do you like your paranormals? Light, Dark, In between? I’ll choose a winner from the comments to this post and announce on Monday, March 26!